Our scrape proved to be a successful hit with Lapwings and Redshanks with both species fledging chicks. In the winter, the RSPB Berney Marshes warden had visited and recommended we put in more foot drains, not to drain the marsh, but to increase the area of wet feeding habitat that wader chicks need.
Today was the day the RSPB came back this time with a tractor and Dutch ditching device to dig those drains. It took just a couple of hours. The ditcher does a superb job of cutting the drain and scattering the soil in a thin uniform layer to the side of the new ditch.
It wasn't even necessary to move the livestock out of the fields although the Jersey heifers did get a little over-excited. Each side was cut separately and water started flowing in as each drain was connected to a dyke.
At the end of the work we had 5 new shallow water-filled drains. The edges should soon grass over and hopefully attract more pairs of Lapwings next year. This evening when I walked round the marshes to survey the work a Lapwing (the first on the marsh since our family left) was already inspecting one of the drains.